Translation Memory Tools FAQ

What are translation memory tools?
Translation memory tools are software packages designed to add efficiency to the translation process by making it easier to deal with chunks of text which are repeated or reoccur in different variations throughout the document.

Translation memory programs usually come with features for managing terminology, allowing the translator to be consistent in the use of terminology and to store terminology for future projects --These programs also have quality assurance features that enable a number of automated checks to be run on translations. For example, it may be possible to check whether numbers have been transposed correctly, whether segments exceed a specified length, or whether incorrect terms, expressions, or spellings have been used.

However, translation memory is only useful for certain types of text (see later).

How do they work?

Translation memory tools work by storing "segments" of text in a memory as the translator translates them. If a segment reoccurs elsewhere in the text, the translator can summon its previous translation from the memory instead of having to re-translate or search for the segment in question. If a segment similar to a previous one occurs, the translator can summon a partial (or "fuzzy") match from the memory for editing.

What types of texts do translation memory tools work with?

The source document must be available in electronic format, for example as a text or word processor file. Translation memory tools work best with materials which contain a large proportion of repeated or partially repeated text, such as:

  • Instruction and operator manuals
  • Software specifications, help files etc.
  • Commercial websites

  • However, translation memory tools are also useful for documents that do not necessarily contain repetitions, but are updated periodically based around the same content e.g. monthly reports presenting the same data each month, contracts which are modified periodically.

    Location of assignment

    Loveconf Translations' comprehensive database of interpreters means we are usually able to locate an interpreter based near to where you need them. If interpreters need to travel, we ask you to to cover their travel expenses and accommodation.

    What are the benefits?

    There are benefits for both client and translator:

  • Cost: The client saves money by paying only partial fees for repetitions and "fuzzy" matches. Typically clients are charged 100% of the translation cost for translating the first instance of a segment's occurrence and then 60% for fuzzy matches and only 30% for pure repetitions.
  • Time: Larger documents can be translated and delivered more quickly.
  • Consistency: It is easier for the translator to maintain consistency, especially over large documents .
  • Portability: The translation memory files are provided to the client on delivery, giving the client the flexibility of using different translators in the future without detriment to consistency.
  • Localisation: Translation Memory tools can be a very useful tool for aiding the localisation of HTML and other software files

  • What commercial translation memory packages are there?

    Some of the most popular translation memory tools include Trados, DéjàVu and SDLX.

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